More open discussion
1) The costs he describes as costs of openly licensing are actually the costs of licensing under any terms, including full copyright, and it wouldn’t cost any less to do full (C).
2) There are plenty of examples of how the CC licenses generate benefit, the largest (as I said in the post) was the translations that have made the OCW content available to huge non-English-speaking audiences. Lots of more granular examples exist, but are they the bulk of the use? No.
In addition to the direct benefits of open licenses, they set (or continue) a community ethos that education is about sharing, and most of the universities that have come into the OCW movement have come in out of a commitment to the mission of disseminating knowledge. On a tactical level, the licenses are an important part of the “sell” to faculty considering participation. It’s an expression of the gift economy that educators have long participated in.
So, open licenses help to grease the wheels and do add some benefits (in some cases quite significant ones), and I don’t see huge cost savings in eliminating them. David is covering territory I’ve written about for a while (reference vs. remix uses of OCW). Finger in the wind, I’d say open licenses contribute to about a quarter to a third of end user benefit (if you include translations and aggregations such as Videolectures.net in addition to individual uses of the licenses).
I guess I’m also losing the point of the conversation here. I thought we were discussing whether cost savings were a compelling argument for doing OCW, but now we seem to be discussing whether there is an economic case for open licenses. There’s plenty to discuss in either case.